Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today announced he would vote against Supreme Court Nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor and released the following statement:

"Judge Sotomayor has a compelling personal story and I appreciate her meeting with me. I carefully followed last week's Judiciary Committee hearings as members questioned Judge Sotomayor on her judicial philosophy and her record of decisions from her time on the bench. After this review I have concluded that Judge Sotomayor has consistently advanced a narrow view of the Second Amendment, providing little reasoning or explanation for her decisions, and twice has ruled that the Second Amendment is not a `fundamental right.' This is an important distinction because the Supreme Court has made this determination a key element in deciding whether to apply parts of the Bill of Rights, such as the Second Amendment, to state and local governments.

"Judge Sotomayor has also had seven of her 10 decisions reviewed by the Supreme Court overturned, including, most recently, Ricci v. DeStefano. In this case, a three person panel dismissed a reverse discrimination claim of 18 New Haven, CT firefighters who were denied promotion because too few minorities passed a promotion exam. The panel published an unusually short and unsigned opinion that adopted the lower court's ruling without adding any original analysis. Judicial and legal experts have noted this disturbing trend of avoiding or casually dismissing difficult and important constitutional issues in her rulings. The Supreme Court should not be the first time a judge tackles these difficult decisions.

"I am also concerned that Judge Sotomayor has a record of bringing her personal views into her decision making philosophy rather than deciding cases based on precedent and fidelity to the law. Her statements during the confirmation hearing before the Judiciary Committee do not always match the philosophies she has expressed prior to this hearing, such as her application of foreign law.

"I take the Senate's role of advise and consent very seriously. I believe that it is the Senate's constitutional duty to thoroughly review all nominees to the federal bench, especially those who will have a lifetime appointment to the highest court."

Judge Sotomayor's nomination is expected to be considered by the full Senate during the first part of August.